Four U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer supersonic bombers arrived at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to conduct Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions, Oct. 20.
The bombers, along with approximately 200 Airmen, from the USAF’s 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS) based at Dyess AFB, Texas arrived to support Pacific Air Forces’ (PACAF) “training efforts with allies, partners and joint forces”.
According to a PACAF statement, BTF missions enable Airmen to continuously conduct operations throughout the world at a moment’s notice to help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions.
“Every bomber task force is important because they accomplish both tactical and strategic objectives,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth, 9th EBS commander. “As we conduct training operations, we are able to increase our bomber force lethality, readiness and experience across the force. It also demonstrates the department of defense’s ability to operate in an agile fashion to the world.”
Before arriving, the bombers integrated with 16 F-15s and 2 F-2s from the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JASDF) in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan.
“The training proved to be a very good opportunity to improve tactical skills as well as to show our commitment to the robust Japan-U.S. alliance and the region,” said JASDF Lt Col. Kobayashi Yoshiyuki, Commander, 305th Fighter Squadron. “Through continued bilateral trainings between the Koku-Jieitai and the U.S. Air Force, we are tough and strong, and always ready. We will continue working together with ally and partners to achieve a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
The bombers also integrated with the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) in the western Pacific Ocean.
“Our ultimate strength in the Indo-Pacific is joint force lethality—our ability to train and operate as one layered, capable, and credible combat team,” said Capt. Luke Frost, USS America’s commanding officer. “The Air Force plays hard. Integrated air defense and sea control operations leveraging top-shelf capabilities of both the Navy and Air Force, like this, allow us to continually field a joint force ready to fight and win.”
The US. Air Force has modified its force employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of worldwide locations with greater operational resilience to align with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability.
“Every one of these operations is an opportunity for us to gain critical experience and become efficient in the deployment and execution processes,” Stallsworth said. “The U.S. Air Force is willing to and capable of operating out of different strategic locations. Our dynamic force employment construct helps us focus on being operationally unpredictable while still being strategically predictable.”
Having the B-1B Lancer aircraft at Andersen AFB enables U.S. Air Force personnel the ability to conduct training missions alongside their fellow Airmen within the Indo-Pacific and potentially work with their counterparts from allied and partner nations within the region.
“Training alongside our allies is important because it improves our combined military capabilities and the likelihood of success to accomplish military objectives,” Stallsworth said. “Reinforcing our connectivity and building personal relationships with our allies is critical to seamlessly executing combined objectives in the future.”
The BTF also helps the Airmen focus on the full spectrum readiness of military operations, whether it’s combat missions, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief.
“This deployment has everything to do with developing the integral elements of agile combat employment,” said Capt. David Teubl, 9th EBS project officer. “Whether that’s working with new entities to provide our capabilities and discuss requirements needed to complete tasks or simply changing how we complete our missions to become more agile.”
Airmen and B-1B Lancers from Dyess AFB last deployed to Guam in May in support of BTF operations.